Audi: R8 Blippar print ad & RS 4 Avant Ultimate Paintball Duel

Audi is up to no good at the moment because good does not exist in their vocabulary! It begins with ‘best’ – the benchmark is how to be better than the best.

Audi is shaking things up in UK and this could be really good for the advertising and digital industry in the UK right now. We need brands that can act as leaders and shake things up in the digital space for sure. Enough of the same old giants like Coca-Cola, Skittles, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Diesel, etc.

Audi has revved up their print ad using Blippar image-recognition app for their new Audi R8 V10. The online teaser is one of the most beautiful and seductive teasers I have seen in a while.

It leaves the viewer curious and intrigued to discover the main film, which can be unlocked using Blippar mobile application over the following Audi R8 print ad. This is actually useful as the user unlocks hidden content i.e. available only via scanning the app!

Audi_R8

The content loads fairly quickly and the full video is even more beautiful and gives you a sneak peak of the Audi R8 lab, super awesome and the R8 is roaring like a beast, waiting to unleash itself on the road.

This print ad using Blippar is a step up from the usual QR code norm that was gradually adapted by the markets and is getting outdated with such Blippar and Augmented Reality applications. Such progress of print ads from a leading brand like Audi helps our industry since we are still struggling with marketers/decision makers who are not confident in making the first move and budget is the second enemy. But I strongly believe that if you believe in the idea, then you get the budget – it just appears all of a sudden! We need such hits to shake the norms, to live the Facebook mantra of ‘Move fast and break things’.

As an extra, enjoy this ultimate Paintball Duel by Audi where two RS 4 Avants are playing like two young lads, having the time of their life!

The set is beautiful, super bright, great direction and awesome paintball moves!

Bravo Audi! A massive respect for continuous creativity and investment in not only their products, but also in tailor made campaigns for each model which help strengthen the positioning of the vehicle.

Audi City: Car Showroom of the Future

Audi is officially embracing the power of digital!

The first brand to have opened a digital showroom in automotive sector and defining the digital car showrooms of the future. Their attempt to revolutionize the shopper marketing arena and making consumers experience the brand digitally in store has called for a big investment in the time of recession today. Even though Audi is doing well in a few markets, it is not really the best time for such a heavy investment. Or may be it is! Trying out a new interactive and exciting way to get people in the store, why not?

The Audi City Digital Showroom, launched in London’s Piccadilly Circus, does not display actual cars but uses digital presentations to present the car. How Minority Report is that? 🙂

One reason going around in the press for coming up with such a concept is the complaint regarding the lack of space to accommodate the Audi range under one roof. Playing on this, Audi plans to launch 20 more digital showrooms in the coming two to three years time.

How it works

Huge screens display the cars interior and exterior and also allows customers to listen to the sounds of exhaust and opening and shutting of doors as well. The store also has paint, wood and leather samples which can be viewed and touched in person. Customers can also arrange a test drive at the dealership.

Not just that, the huge digital walls are also controlled by tablets on which customers can create a car and view their configuration of the big digital screens.

According to Peter Schwarzenbauer, AUDI AG member of the board of management for marketing and sales , “Audi City combines the best of two worlds – digital product presentation and personal contact with the dealer. This new retail format brings us even closer to our customers – geographically, of course, but first and foremost in terms of the quality of our relationship.

Future of Retail

Such a concept hints at the future of retail in markets where space is an issue in areas where customers are present. Opening such showrooms in shopping malls can be a huge success in developing markets like China and India where malls are coming up every other day and there are issues regarding space. Plus, it also allows the brand to test new markets where they don’t want to launch 20 or so dealerships and can just launch such a store and see how the market/region develops for Audi. It also helps to cut down many costs of vehicle maintenance in the showrooms and resourcing.

I really like the concept and looking forward to hear more about the results from Audi on sales, customer response and pros and cons for both dealers and customers.

Find out more on http://www.audi.co.uk/audi-innovation/audi-city.html

“Sync. Tweet. Save” by American Express

Ever thought Twitter hashtags could save you bucks? Well American Express is making it happen with their “Sync.Tweet.Save” offer for their US customers. This is a part of a bigger campaign by American Express under the name “Sync.Explore.Save” with Facebook and Foursquare offers also as on https://sync.americanexpress.com/

Twitter users with American Express card are required to sync their American Express card with their Twitter account to start taking part in the offers. You have to be on the look out for #amex followed by the offer name eg. #amexcoffee #amexbeach and to take part all you have to do is just tweet that offer hashtag and when you swipe your American Express card the offer will be automatically redeemed on your card.

Such an idea is tapping the growing mobile payments behavior and giving people serious reasons to use mobile for payments. Why I am mentioning mobile here is because you need a smartphone to use Foursquare, Facebook & Twitter apps to take part in these offers on-the-go with Amex. This saves the headache of printing coupons, remembering codes and saving eCoupons etc. It is seamless and such payments are on their way to becoming a part of daily life for many smartphone users and Amex has certainly made a smart move here to offer benefits to their customers on-the-go!

Interactive poster that gives a “kiss”

Keio University,Japan are working to bring some serious interactivity in poster ads. Reportedly the developer behind this was frustrated of the standard poster and wanted it to interact with him. He went on to develop one where the girl in the poster interacts when woken up by kissing the poster.

It works based on an inbuilt sensor which can sense the users proximity to the poster and acts accordingly. The team in Japan are also working on ways to make it more interactive using sounds and releasing scents via the poster ad like giggling sounds of the girl, the scent of her shampoo, lip gloss lemon-flavour scent upon close-up and even a whisper of “I love you”. They are also looking to develop applications with image-recognition for iPads and tablets.

I can only imagine how expensive it will be to produce these poster and the massive installation costs for various regions. I definitely see Coca-Cola and Nike on-board with such a technology but when it comes to this typical example P&G brands can make quite an impression with their already successful products.